A NUS Women’s Department blog post took aim the CWRR’s Rally for Abortion Rights.
“These streets are ours – and other words you never thought you’d hear coming out of ‘left wing’ male mouths.”
Debbie Brennan responds on behalf of CWRR
A question: What rally were you at?!
I’m one of the abortion rights rally organisers. I am also a member of Radical Women, a socialist feminist women’s leadership organisation that helped found Campaign for Women’s Reproductive Rights (CWRR) in 1989. From its beginnings, CWRR has been a united front of organisations and individuals working together to build a broad, militant grassroots reproductive justice movement. This is what it will take to defeat the far right that would have women confined to children, kitchen and church (Kinder, Küche, Kirche). Men have always been active in CWRR, because they understand that a society which denies women our rights is not one they want to live in. This misogynist system, which would relegate women to breeders, housekeepers and cheap labour, is also anti-union, racist, xenophobic and homophobic (half its targets being men). The magnificent number of men at the rally showed what solidarity looks like — something you find distasteful.
I’ll correct your sexist distortions about the rally. Of the two MCs, one was a woman — whom you disappeared, maybe didn’t notice. Of the six speakers, five were women — again, disappeared.
The sexism that underlines your red-baiting is offensive. And your hostility to linking obviously inter-connected struggles is downright mindboggling. Women’s control of our bodies and our lives doesn’t encompass walking freely and safely in our streets? Really? I’ll go further: control of our bodies and lives also means to take our place as leaders in public life, not holed up in a privatised house. Didn’t you hear the loud chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets! Whose world? Our world!”?? As for the poster demanding freedom for Julian Assange — Yes!! The capitalist State, which is ready to waste Assange for telling the truth about its depraved inhumanity, wants women chained to the kitchen sink, bed, playpen and church! It’s so connected!
CWRR did broad outreach for rally endorsements. We contacted the NUS, and we didn’t get a reply. Look at the rally endorsers: unions, feminist, socialist, anarchist, LGBTI organisations, women’s health services, university women’s departments. No NUS. Why?
You’re clearly hostile to the Left — the very movement that consistently hits the streets for women’s rights. You seem phobic about hitting the streets — ie militant grassroots leadership. You fool no one.